A three year research project has discovered that fear of not fitting in, ‘squashed helmet hair’ and turning up ‘hot and sweaty’ for meetings are the biggest deterrents for using a bike to commute (Telegraph).
Successive Governments have invested £150 million to promote cycling as an environmentally friendly way of travelling. But there appears to be a long way to go before the public is convinced, according to the study funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The study approached 15,000 people and received just over 1,400 replies. Some of the respondents were interviewed in person and accompanied on their usual journeys to work, reports the Telegraph.
Professor Colin Pooley, of Lancaster University, said: “Most people prefer not to stand out as different, but tend to adopt norms of behaviour that fit in and reflect the majority experience.
“In Britain, travelling by car is the default position for most people – over 60% of all trips are by car – and car ownership and use is seen as normal. The significance of such issues in influencing people’s everyday travel decisions should not be underestimated.
“Campaigns to promote walking and cycling as normal, and something accessible to all and not dominated by super-fit or unusually committed specialists, should also be adopted.”
However Norman Baker, the local transport minister, was sceptical. He said: “Cycling is absolutely mainstream and it is quite old fashioned to suggest otherwise.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.